“Not Remotely Fair!”
~By Sharon Czerwien
About a week ago, I learned of a special family friend who contracted COVID-19. (Praise God, this friend is on the up and up now!) I told my children the day after I found out. Both were genuinely sad, but my son was especially bummed! I was not surprised, as my son has a neat relationship with this special person, who is like a grandfatherly figure.
You see, this person always drops down to my son’s eye level and really listens to him talk about any (random) toy. If my son knows in advance that he will get to see this person, he spends much time analyzing which toy to bring to show him. I typically internally cringe (on behalf of this person) because I feel badly that my son goes on and on about whatever toy he brings to show him. This person does not get annoyed, though, and it is very sweet of him.
Needless to say, my son was not happy that this person caught COVID-19. He proclaimed, “WHY did HE have to get it and not some awful bad guy!!??” It made me a little teary, as I completely agreed! Believe me (I thought to myself), if I were God, I would be sure all the bad guys caught it!
Does the Bible Address Such Unfairness?
Instead of me saying my heathenistic thought out loud, I thought it best to speak truth to my son instead. So, I told my children that the book of Ecclesiastes, in the Old Testament, covers this very concept!
Ecclesiastes 7:15 and 8:14 speak to this unfairness.
Bad things sometimes happen to good people, and sometimes good things happen to bad people. This is clear from these verses in Ecclesiastes. What you hope (or expect) that the righteous person receives will sometimes be experienced by the wicked (and vice versa!). From an earthly perspective, That. Is. Not. Fair!
Let us briefly consider this verse in Ecclesiastes.
“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find out nothing that will come after him” (NKJV).
Like it or not (and often, we do not like it), we are not the ones in charge. (It is probably a good thing, as I know I am not always just or right.)
Ecclesiastes makes it clear that it is God appointing the prosperous or adverse situations in our lives. We must be willing to accept either the good or the bad (while also accepting the perceived unfairness between what the good or evil person receives).
To my son:
Believe me, I wish this sweet man did not have to experience COVID-19, and I understand that it would seem better to throw the germs on a bad guy instead. Let God do His thing, though, and let us learn from Ecclesiastes.